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Longitudinal study on work related and individual risk factors affecting radiating neck pain
  1. E Viikari-Juntura,
  2. R Martikainen,
  3. R Luukkonen,
  4. P Mutanen,
  5. E-P Takala,
  6. H Riihimäki
  1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Dr Eira Viikari-Juntura, Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Department of Physiology, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, FIN-00250 Helsinki, Finlandeira.viikari-juntura{at}


OBJECTIVES To study the effects of work related and individual factors affecting radiating neck pain.

METHODS A longitudinal study was carried out with repeated measurements. A total of 5180 Finnish forest industry workers replied to a questionnaire survey in 1992 (response rate 75%). Response rates to follow up questionnaires in 1993, 1994, and 1995 were 83%, 77%, and 90%, respectively. The outcome variable was the number of days with radiating neck pain during the preceding 12 months with three levels (<8, 8–30, >30 days). The generalised estimating equations method was used to fit a marginal model and a transition model was used in a predictive analysis.

RESULTS Items showing associations with radiating neck pain in both analyses were sex, age, body mass index, smoking, duration of work with a hand above shoulder level, mental stress, and other musculoskeletal pains. In the transition model, radiating neck pain in a previous questionnaire was included in the model. Although it was a strong predictor, the variables already mentioned retained their significance.

CONCLUSION Programmes targeted to reduce physical load at work, mental stress, being overweight, and smoking could potentially prevent radiating neck pain.

  • neck disorder
  • mental stress
  • physical work load

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